Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Goldilocks, meet Baby Bear.

I'd frankly never heard of this gentleman until about 4 or 5 months ago when I saw him on CNBC. His name is Hugh Moore, his firm is Guerite Advisors, and he appears to be gaining more notice in the press with his predictions for a mild recession in 2007 based on a model that he believes can predict recessions with very high accuracy rates. Mr. Moore claims the model has predicted recessions over the last 50 years with very few false alarms. It's not explicitly mentioned here, but I assume the model was developed with back tested data, which raises the question of whether the investigator just kept playing with the data until they got something they liked, which can lead to some questionable conclusions.

According to this interview, the data that go into the model are the inverted yield curve, housing construction rates as a percent of GDP, leading economic indicators, and their own in house indicator, 'the Guerite indicator', which he doesn't elaborate on further.

The interview is short, but his prediction is for a mild recession coming in mid to late 2007. Of the predictions for an upcoming recession, I would say this is one of the milder ones and one I find easier to mull over than the fairly dark views of people like Nouriel Roubini or, even more depressing, Warren Brussee.

CNBC Video: Hugh Moore, Guerite Advisors


"We don't believe in the soft landing, but then we also don't think that the world is going to hell in a handbasket either."